Hello friends and followers! Today I’m writing to you from sunny California, and if that isn’t reason enough to smile, I don’t know what is. For today’s dose of mental health tips I want to talk to you about clearing your physical and mental environments.
My mind is a cluttered space. I am almost always preoccupied with something. At any given point, I ams sure to have at least 5 different lists of things to do (work things, life things, blogging, things to buy, things to remember) and I often get overwhelmed and flustered.
That's when I know it's time to sit down and reorganize my entire apartment. In all the hustle of life, my apartment often gets neglected and looks like a hurricane wiped through it. I'll do laundry, but not have the time/energy/patience to sit down and fold it. I'll go home to New Jersey for the weekend, and come back with at least 50 more things and just leave them in canvas bags around my place.
I like to call it an organized mess.
Everything has an area, but most of my things are just thrown into various duffel and canvas bags to be sorted at a later date. The busier I get, the more "to be sorted later" bags I accumulate. Until all of a sudden I'm surrounded by bags of things and I've spent an hour digging through to find that freaking piece of paper with blog notes I saw two weeks ago or that black sweater I really want to wear today (note: 95% of my clothes are black. so you can imagine my frustration when trying to find that particular sweater).
Well, in the days leading up to Christmas my life was in total disarray. Understandably! My work load had increased sevenfold and I was in holiday panic mode, trying to finish making my presents and attending as many social gatherings as possible. I had totally lost control, but I was determined to regain it. So I stayed up all night reorganizing my entire apartment. ‘A place for everything and everything in it's place’ in an extreme way. At about four in the morning I finally put my head down on my pillow to snooze for a few hours before heading home for the holidays. And it was the best sleep I'd had in weeks.
When you live in a cluttered mess, it's easy to get frazzled. It's easy to get angry and frustrated and feel like everything is just falling apart. When you're home is a mess, your mind is a mess too.
I've always had this habit of reorganizing my living space in an effort to realign my chi. In college, I was notorious for literally taking everything out of closet just to put it back right before final exams. During my freshman year, I must've rearranged our dorm furniture at least 12 times before finally picking a layout that was the most feng-shui-ed. Before I sit down to tackle any project, task, or blog post I have to make sure my desk is in order and that all my notes have been highlighted, post-it marked, and color coordinated. My planner (affectionately called the oracle) could probably be used as evidence for my institutionalization.
By clearing my living space, I inadvertently clear some space in my head. Not only do I feel more relaxed at home, but taking the time to do mindless household chores gives me a break from all the stress that has been building up in my own head. Sometimes, we just need to shut our brains down by doing something autopiloted, like folding laundry.
Peace of mind can only come when we are in an environment that nurtures openness and order.
Every once in a while I will dedicate an entire day to clearing some space. It’s a necessity in this hectic world if we want to keep our sanity.
I hope that you all found this piece helpful and if it has inspired you to rediscover your center, please let me know! I’d love to hear your stories!!
Sending you sunshine and love from the west coast, xx Nikbear